Saturday, February 24, 2018
Business

Labor Day travelers brace for busier roads, higher gas prices

Bags packed, playlist set and pumped to hit the road? Well, get ready.

Experts are predicting this could be the busiest Labor Day travel weekend since 2008. And drivers could face higher gas prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — with potential delays for pipeline deliveries, refinery closures and widespread flooding throughout Texas and parts of Louisiana. Here's the latest travel forecast:

Gas Prices in Florida

National auto group AAA expects to see the price at the pump statewide rise a minimum of 5 to 15 cents, reaching the highest seasonal prices since 2014.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Gas prices spike in Tampa Bay in Hurricane Harvey aftermath

Gas prices are currently $2.38 for unleaded regular in Tampa Bay, $2.41 in Florida, and $2.45 nationally. In the bay area, prices have risen 8 cents from last week.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: AAA: Hurricane Harvey could trigger higher Tampa Bay gas prices

Hurricane Harvey Effect

Early reports indicate little damage at the three refineries in Corpus Christi, according to AAA, but it may take one or two weeks for the refineries to operate at their full capacity.

The Corpus Christi refineries supply about 4.2 percent of the country's gas, and Houston-area refiners process about 14 percent for the nation.

As of Thursday, between 19 percent to as high as 31 percent of the oil refining capacity in the Gulf Coast was offline, according to various reports.

Summer Travel

AAA estimates more than 37.25 million people may travel this weekend, which would be the highest since 2008, based on year-over-year growth rates from Memorial Day and Independence Day.

Labor Day travel is usually the lowest among the three major summer holidays, behind Independence Day with 44.2 million travelers this year and Memorial Day with 39.3 million travelers.

Comments
Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists call for tech companies to drop NRA’s digital TV channel

Activists are calling for Apple, Amazon, Google and other streaming companies to drop the National Rifle Association’s digital TV channel in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida school last week, putting the companies in the delicate position o...
Published: 02/24/18
Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

Edward Peachey demands severance from CareerSource before stepping down

The head of the Pinellas and Hillsborough career centers under multiple investigations into the way they report job placement figures says he has no intention of stepping down.That’s unless he is paid five months severance.In a letter from his attorn...
Published: 02/23/18
Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

Terminally ill Valrico man dies a month after marrying junior high sweetheart

VALRICO — During his final few days, 19-year-old Dustin Snyder moved to a hospice house, surrounded himself with belongings from home, swam in a pool and visited the beach in Ruskin.Wherever he went, the terminally ill Valrico man had family beside h...
Published: 02/23/18
Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

Tampa Downtown Partnership gets initial city okay to expand north

TAMPA — The Downtowner may be heading to Tampa Heights — but not until Oct. 1.That’s because the nonprofit Tampa Downtown Partnership this week won initial City Council approval to expand into Tampa Heights."Tampa Heights is becoming an important gat...
Published: 02/23/18

Tampa lawyer gets 27 months in federal prison for insider trading

Tampa lawyer Walter "Chet’’ Little was sentenced this week to 27 months in federal prison for engaging in an insider trading scheme that reaped him and a friend profits totaling nearly $1 million.According to federal authorities, Little accessed comp...
Published: 02/23/18
More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

More companies are cutting ties with gun lobby as #BoycottNRA movement gains steam

Three major companies — Enterprise Holdings, First National Bank of Omaha, and the cybersecurity giant Symantec — have ended co-branding partnerships with the National Rifle Association as a #BoycottNRA social media movement picks up steam.Enterprise...
Published: 02/23/18
Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citi to refund $330 Million to credit card customers it overcharged

Citigroup is preparing to issue $330 million in refunds after the bank discovered it had overcharged nearly 2 million credit card customers on their annual interest rates, a spokeswoman said Friday.The bank, which has about 150 million credit card ac...
Published: 02/23/18
Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

Girl Scouts camp sold to member of Tampa’s Lykes family

ODESSA — The 63-year-old lakeside summer camp had no air conditioning or electricity. Cabin floors were often covered in grime, and cobwebs clung to the windows.But under new ownership, the 18.6 acres of Florida woods known as Camp Scoutcrest to memb...
Published: 02/23/18
BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

BB&T cites ‘technical issue’ in outage affecting customers

Millions of BB&T customers were unable to access their accounts after a service outage which the bank blames on an equipment malfunction. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based bank posted a statement on its Twitter page saying the problem persiste...
Published: 02/23/18
Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

Realtors are ‘every 10 feet’ in Florida but more want in the business

ST. PETERSBURG — Tired of working as a yacht captain, Pancho Jiminez decided to get into real estate even though he knows it’s a highly competitive field in Florida."Realtors are every 10 feet around here," he says.Nonetheless, Jiminez is among 30 st...
Published: 02/23/18